the officer who receives the dispatches to be more careful, and I will also make a check here. We must not let Johnston re-enforce Lee, but I understand your later news from the enemy says nothing of this.
W. T. SHERMAN,
NASHVILLE, TENN., April 19, 1864-12 midnight.
(Received 2.40 a.m., 20th.)
Thomas reports by telegraph to-night that he has satisfactory intelligence that no troops have left Dalton for Richmond. His dates from Johnston's camp are as late as the 18th.
W. T. SHERMAN,
HDQRS. MILITARY DIVISION OF THE MISSISSIPPI,
Nashville, Tenn., April 19, 1864.
General JOHN A. RAWLINS,
Chief of General Grant's Staff, Washington, D. C.:
GENERAL: I received a dispatch from General Grant asking me if the report that Johnston was sending off Hardee's corps was true. I have answered that Thomas thinks not. You know how easy such reports get currency. I have read every official report from all quarters very carefully, and the only one which even hints at such a thing is one from Thomas-the words of a deserter, taken down by the usual provost-marshal under date of April 15, that there was a camp rumor in Johnston's camp when he left that Hardee's corps was to be sent to Virginia; but subsequent reports describe minutely the position and strength of the rebel army as unchanged since you left, save that a heavy cavalry force is being collected near the Coosa, abreast of Guntersville, evidently for the purpose of watching McPherson. Although I have daily the reports of thousands and tens of thousands marching and raiding all round the compass, yet I have now scouts in from Memphis, who bring in passes and papers from Selma, Montgomery, West Point, Opelika, and Talladega, and from them I learn that things remain as I describe above.
Thomas is gradually drawing down his command to a common focus-Chattanooga.
Schofield has infantry force at Bull's Gap and a small cavalry force beyond but is preparing to have about 12,000 infantry near Hiwassee at the time appointed-May 1-with his cavalry, under Stoneman, remounting and refitting as fast as possible near Lexington, Ky., whence at the right time I will move them to the Hiwassee. McPherson has Decatur well fortified, and is examining the river carefully to ascertain the best point to cross over. He still is in doubt whether Guntersville or Whitesburg be the place, but one or the other is, and our bridge at Larkin's can, on a short notice, drop down.
This will give him two good points of invasion. I am doing all I can to get forward the necessary stores, and more still to diminish the useless mouths that eat up our substance.